A YEAR before the first number of ANTIQUITY appeared, its founder reviewed a new publication for the Antiquaries Journal. ‘This book,’ he began, ‘is the most important of its kind that has hitherto been published…. Never before has the whole field of European origins been surveyed by a specialist who can also generalize, who writes clearly and intelligibly, and who is apparently familiar with all European languages. Its publication brings us appreciably nearer to the ultimate goal of our study.’
Crawford saw that Gordon Childe’s The Dawn of European Civilization, in its first edition of 1925, marked the beginning of a new era in archaeological studies in this country. I suspect that he was one of the very few British prehistorians at that time who realized the fact and appreciated the implications. More than thirty years later a revised sixth edition has been published, appearing almost simultaneously with the tragic news of the author’s death in his native Australia. For a full generation The Dawn, as we have all affectionately called it, has been with us, the indispensable reference-book for student, teacher and interested layman, our Ariadne-clue in the labyrinth of Neolithic and earlier Bronze Age Europe.